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Historical Background of the Public Service Commission

During the era that Sri Lanka was a colony under the British rule, the Public Service Commission was established under the Ceylon (Constitution) Order in Council dated 15th May 1946 in order to carry out the task of appointing officers for Public Service. Accordingly, the executive powers in respect of the appointments, promotions, transfers, disciplinary control and dismissal were vested in the Public Service Commission.

With the establishment of the 1st Republican Constitution in the year 1972, the Public Service Commission, which functioned independently over a period of 26 years, was abolished and the authority in respect of the Public Service was vested with the Cabinet of Ministers.

Then, with the promulgation of the 2nd Republican Constitution in 1978, the Public Service Commission was re-established and the appointment of its members under Article 56(1) was done by the President. The Public Service Commission operated according to a delegation from the Cabinet of Ministers.

In 1978, the PSC had delegated its powers of appointments, promotions, transfers, disciplinary control and dismissal of public officers, on the direction of the Cabinet of Ministers, to the Secretaries to the Ministries and Head of Departments. The PSC functioned as an Appellate Authority at this time.
[See Article 58(1) & 58(2) of the Constitution]

Then, in 1992 the Cabinet of Ministers delegated the powers of appointments, promotions, transfers and disciplinary control of Staff Grade officers (which had been delegated to the Secretaries to the Ministries and Head of Departments) to the Public Service Commission and reserved the power to alter, vary or rescind any decisions made by the Commission or a Committee thereof.

In 2001, the Chapter IX of the 1978 Constitution, which contained the provisions relating to the Public Service, was repealed and replaced with an entirely new Chapter by the 17th Amendment to the Constitution. In accordance with that, the Public Service Commission consisted of nine members appointed by the President on the recommendation of the Constitutional Council, while one of the members appointed by the President as its Chairman, on the recommendation of the Constitutional Council. The status of the Public Service Commission was empathically changed by this amendment and in accordance with that powers of appointment, promotion, transfer and disciplinary control of public officers which had been previously vested in the Cabinet of Ministers, were vested in the Commission. Further, the Public Service Commission was become here to a responsible and answerable institution to the Parliament, in accordance with the Standing Orders of the Parliament.

In 2010, matters relating to the establishment and functions of the Public Service Commission have been amended by the 18th Amendment to the Constitution. This is a Commission which is answerable to the Parliament in accordance with the Standing Orders of the Parliament. According to Article 54(1) as amended by the 18th Amendment, the Public Service Commission consists of 9 members appointed by the President. The President appoints one of such member as its Chairman. They hold office for a term of 3 years and are eligible to be reappointed for another term. According to Article 55(1) amended by the 18th Amendment, the Cabinet of Ministers shall provide for and determine all matters of policy relating to public officers. Subjected to the provisions of the constitution, the Commission is vested with the powers of appointment, promotion, transfer, disciplinary control and dismissal of the public officers including the Police officers.

 

iso 9001:2008

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Last Update: 09-12-2019.

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